Family of investigator killed with axe hope for answers as long-awaited report due

The brother of murdered private investigator Daniel Morgan is hopeful his family will finally get some answers in their three decade-long fight for the truth surrounding the killing.

Alastair Morgan told Sky News he is sure a long-awaited independent report into the killing will “vindicate” him and back his claims that police corruption and collusion with organised criminals lay at the heart of the case.

The report by an independent panel, which has been eight years in the making, is due to be published on Tuesday.

The panel has examined the multiple failed police investigations and whether those inquiries were hampered by corrupt officers.

Image: Alastair Morgan is hoping for some justice for his brother

Daniel Morgan was murdered in the car park of a pub in south London on 10 March 1987.

The 38-year-old had been inside the Golden Lion in Sydenham for a meeting with Jonathan Rees, his business partner in the private detective agency they ran together.

Later that evening, Mr Morgan was attacked as he left the pub to collect his BMW.

His killer lay in wait for him in the back car park and as he approached his car, he was struck multiple times in the back of the head with an axe.

Notes he had been seen writing earlier had been stolen from a torn trouser pocket.

Image: Mr Morgan was killed in the car park of the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham

A Rolex watch was stolen, but Mr Morgan’s wallet and a large amount of cash was left untouched.

Despite spending more than £30m on five separate investigations, no one has ever been brought to justice for the murder.

Alistair Morgan, who continues to spearhead his family’s search for answers, believes his younger brother was about to expose corruption among some officers based at nearby Catford police station, when he was killed.

And he claims that the Metropolitan Police Service has continued to avoid proper scrutiny over the decades.

“I’ve had enough of them,” he said.

“I’ve had enough of British policing to be quite honest, after 34 years of it.”

“The fact that Daniel was expressing repeatedly, in the weeks and months and days before his death, concern over police corruption, and then bang, he’s dead, you know, it just looks so awful.”

The original 1987 murder investigation was bungled from the outset.

Image: The scene of Daniel Morgan’s death

Police failed to make the most of forensic opportunities and some of those who were in and around the Golden Lion at the time were not interviewed by detectives.

Daniel Morgan’s business partner Jonathan Rees and one of the investigating officers, Detective Sergeant Sid Fillery, were among six people arrested, but later released without charge.

Multiple attempts were made to gather fresh evidence, but all the renewed inquiries were unsuccessful.

The most spectacular failure came in 2011 with the collapse of a case against against men due to stand trial over allegations of involvement in Daniel Morgan’s killing.

Jonathan Rees, brothers Glenn and Garry Vian and local builder James Cook had been arrested three years earlier on suspicion of murder. Sid Fillery was also arrested on suspicion of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

But an Old Bailey judge threw out the case after defence complaints that police had coached a super-grass witness on what to say.

To this day, all of the men deny any involvement in Daniel Morgan’s death.

Image: Metropolitan Police are braced for criticism when the report is released

They successfully sued the Metropolitan Police after the collapse of the case against them and were awarded significant damages.

The unsolved murder investigation took another bizarre twist, after the now defunct News of the World became embroiled in the case.

Journalists from the paper were caught carrying out a surveillance operation against the lead investigator Detective Chief Superintendent David Cook and his family, after he launched a fresh appeal to find Daniel’s killers on the BBC’s Crimewatch programme.

He and his wife, Jacqui Hames, a fellow serving officer at the time and presenter on Crimewatch, received anonymous death threats.

She still remembers the shock of seeing people in a van watching her house.

“I can still visualise it to this day,” she said.

Image: The original investigation into the murder of Daniel Morgan was bungled

“The driver’s door window came down, and I saw something metal being raised and I just went into sheer panic.

“I just felt so under threat and so terrified that I just had to leave the house.”

Jacqui Hames never believed the paper’s assertion that it was investigating allegations she was having an affair with Chief Superintendent Cook. The couple had in fact been married for years.

It is her hope, and that of Alastair Morgan that alleged links between the tabloid, corrupt police and organised crime will be fully uncovered in the 1,200 page independent report.

Scotland Yard is bracing for significant criticism, with dozens of former and current officers expected to be named and criticised.